Presentation on theme: "Developing Grants for Nonprofit EAAT Programs"— Presentation transcript:
1 Developing Grants for Nonprofit EAAT Programs Jennifer A. PolandM.A.(706)Interchangeable terms throughout presentation - Equine Facilitated Mental Health (EFMH). The term used to describe the two broad categories of EFMH services: those which employ educational or learning strategies and those which are mental health services. (Hallberg, 2008). Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL). Focuses on teaching life skills, social skills, communication skills, vocational skills, and work ethics to a therapeutic population. EFL is designed to provide all of the benefits of EFP without probing, personal insight based nature of the service. (Hallberg, 2008). Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP). Is a form of experiential psychotherapy that includes equines. Activities may include handling, grooming, longeing, riding, driving, and vaulting. The client must present with the ability to make insight-based work possible. (Hallberg, 2008).Presentation BioThe utilization of grant writing in Nonprofit Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAAT) Programs can be an essential part of financial success. A summary of grant writing information and funders specific to EAAT programs will be provided. The survey research I conducted in my Thesis will share the successful commonalities found in EAAT grant writing, as surveyed from 8 representatives of PATH (NARHA) and EAGALA Nonprofit Programs. The application of grant writing skills through the development of a grant inventory and a grant proposal for Horsetime, Inc. will also be discussed.
2 Presentation Outline The Need for Grant Writing Background Nonprofit Revenue DiversificationGrant Writing ResourcesCommon Elements of Success in Grant WritingThesis Survey ResearchMethodologyDevelopment of the QuestionnaireResultsGrant Writing ApplicationGrant Inventory Summary & Grant Proposal developed for Horse TimeWere going to be covering a lot of information today, so please feel free to interrupt and ask questions, I will ensure we have time left at the end to answer questions. I’m going to start the discussion around the need for grant writing as mental health or teaching practitioners in EAMH, review current resources for grant writers , and the reported commonalities of success in grant writing, and then I will discuss my research and projects I completed.
3 The Need for Grant Writing Survey Research The vulnerability of nonprofit organizations is critical as 16% of organizations survive for only the first five years of operation (NCCS, ).Competitiveness for the estimated $38.44 billion given out by grant making organizations is great (Giving USA, 2010).Nonprofits are particularly subject to resource dependency, a reliance on any one stream of revenue that greatly impacts nonprofit organizational structures and financial health (Carroll & Stater, 2008).Grant programs may only fund 10 to 30 percent of applications (Porter, 2005).The need for grant writing… Well in the current economic environment, the failure rate of nonprofits within the first five years is 16%, so if we wish to start our own practice in EAMH that’s an important fact. Further the diversification of revenue is essential to nonprofit survival, the lack of revenue diversification is risk factor for failure, further nonprofit organizations differ in their ability to absorb unexpected changes in revenue.Chang and Tuckman (1996) and Tuckman and Chang (1991) demonstrate that revenue diversification is positively correlated with financial health in nonprofit organizations, as displayed by higher operating margins and larger net assets. Tuckman and Chang (1991) investigate factors that contribute to financial vulnerability in nonprofits if organizations are likely to cut service offerings immediately when a financial shock occurs. Analysis of data from 1983 tax returns of nonprofit organizations focused on four criteria: equity balances, revenue sources, administrative costs, and operating margins (1991). Financial flexibility was established, by Tuckman and Chang, if an organization has access to equity balances, many revenue sources, high administrative costs and high operating costs. The data showed that four in every ten nonprofits are potentially vulnerable under at least one of the four vulnerability criteria.
4 EAAT Nonprofit organizations at risk for resource dependency? Equus: The Center for Equine Assisted Therapy, located in Kansas City, Missouri provides children, youth, and adults critical life skills through activities with horses reported 96% of their income from program service revenue alone in 2009 (Guidestar, 2010). In Tuscon, Arizona, Desert Dove Farm offers a horse therapy program for at risk youth reported 70% of their income from program service revenue alone in 2009 (Guidestar, 2010). Stride Ahead, in Atlanta, Georgia, provides youth development, animal related activities and general rehabilitative services using horses reported 100% of their income from contributions and grants in 2009 (Guidestar, 2010). Triple Creek Ranch in Redding, California, providing youth development, mental health treatment and general rehabilitative services using horses reported 78% of their income in 2008 from contributions, gifts, and grants (Guiedestar, 2010).Sources of revenue that I focused on for my survey research were (1) fees for service, (2) donations, (3) contracts, (4) grants. Definition of Grant. A financial donation given to support a person, organization, project, or program (Association of Fundraising Professionals, ).This data compels the question: are EAAT programs the victim to resource dependency?
5 Grant Writing Resources Summary of Grant Services offered by different organizations(1) listing of grant consultants,(2) resources, research and/or reports,(3) searchable database for grants, and(4) workshops, classes, trainings, and/or certifications.Grant Opportunities Specific to Nonprofit EAAT Organizations
6 Grant Services Offered by Different Organizations There are positive and negative attributes to EAAT organizations utilizing a listing of grant consultants. A grant consultant would be beneficial to an organization due to their knowledge and experience composing the proposal and following a timeline. Adversely hiring a grant consultant maybe a poor option for organizations due to the lack of institutional memory, choosing the wrong individual, or a high cost.Resources to organizations in grant writing, research and reports related to grant writing or fundraising are valuable to EAAT organizations. Nonprofit organizations that provide services to the community are under increased pressure to justify their expenditures and demonstrate their value to the community (Grant, 2006)Nonprofit organizations choosing to use grants as a source of funding will require knowledge of where to access searchable database to locate potential funders for identified projects or programs. Searchable databases are a benefit to organizations as they are fast, user friendly and help focus the search for grant funders.Nonprofit organizations offering EAAT services may benefit from workshops, training, certifications or conferences in grant writing. Organizations may need training or development due to a lack of knowledge in grant writing, or a planned change in the organization to utilize grants. The benefits of networking and increasing employee efficiencies in process and the adoption of new methods may result in financial gain through awarded grants.Of importance is the use of logical operations during searches, the use of "and," "or," "not," when searching. Using "or" always broadens a search, ie. therapeutic riding or hippotherapy. Using "and" always narrows a search, ie. therapeutic riding and hippotherapy. Using "not" always excludes records with specified terms, ie. therapeutic riding not hippotherapy.
7 Grant Opportunities Specific to Nonprofit EAAT Organizations (1) EAAT organizations interested in conducting research can benefit from searching for grants to legitimize the effectiveness of their program.(2) The American Horse Council and their affiliate state Horse Council Member Associations represent the horse industry in government (AHC, 2011). Examples of three of the Horse Council Associations that offer grants include Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa.(3) Breed Associations can be a potential source of funding through grants, fundraisers, or benefit events. Further involvement with breed associations can increase marketing sources, donations, volunteers, horse donations and clientele.(4) Any organization utilizing horses in their EAAT programs, unless the animals are leased, or the facility use is leased, could consider utilizing sustainable, eco-friendly, horse keeping practices.(5) Funding for program costs can emanate from a variety of funding sources equine and non equine oriented(6) Nonprofit organizations operating a horse rescue, and utilizing these horses for EAAT programs.(7) Funding for the variety of programs offered through nonprofit organizations can have a beneficial impact on EAAT programs even if the funding is not directly related if the programs share staff, horses, and facilities.(1) Aspen Ranch an residential treatment program based in Loa Utah, participated in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative with the University of Minnesota surveying both immediate and lasting benefits for youth and families (Aspen Ranch, 2007). Utilizing grants to support program validity to further gain funding or increase clientele can be beneficial to any organization.(2) Examples of three of the Horse Council Associations that offer grants include Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa. (Currently Georgia doesn’t offer grants)(3) Regardless of the type or breed of horse utilized in EAAT programs involvement with the respective breed association can be beneficial to agencies. (AQHA application available online in January)(4) Information on environmental practices related to equestrian facilities can be found at such internet sites as Sustainable Stables ( ), (http://sustainablestables.com), and Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Equestrian Facility Program (2008), (www.audubonlifestyles.org), to list a few. Organizations utilizing a large environmental focus within their programs that can benefit from grants related to sustainability are like the Greenacres Foundation (n/d).The Greenacres Foundation mission is to preserve for the public the Greenacres farm in its current state of woodland and farmland, to encourage conservation and appreciation of nature by providing the public, particularly children, opportunities to study plant and animal life in their natural settings. The programs offered by the Greenacres Foundation rely heavily on environmental sustainability and education of those practices, an Equine Program is part of their offered services.(5) Hearts & Horses (2011), a nonprofit organization located in Northern Colorado, offering a variety of therapeutic and educational programs promote the various sources of funding for their programs online (www.heartsandhorses.org). Acknowledging over 100 supporters who have donated either monetary or in-kind donations of $250 or more within the calendar year, Hearts and Horses definitely exemplifies the goal of a variety of program funding sources.(6) Willow Pond Ranch (n/d) located near the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, operate a rescue horse sanctuary offering programs to public including a riding school, day camps, equine assisted psychotherapy, corporation and company equine assisted team building and corporate training for facilitators.(7) Horses or Staff that work within different EAAT and Competitive Equestrian Sports programs, can find funding through creative techniques.Falconwood Vaulters (n/d) the nonprofit organization holding practices and competition, share the same horses that Horse Time (n/d), the nonprofit organization offering EFP uses, funding from the USA Equestrian Trust fund would potentially benefit both programs, as they share the same facility, horses and staff. Further the staff members who support both the vaulting team and EFP clients may benefit from funding to receive further training offered through the U.S. Pony Club.
8 Summary of Grant Services Available to Nonprofit Organizations Grant Writing Resources Specific to EAATTraditional Organizations offering Grant Writing ResourcesEquine Assisted Growth and Learning AssociationNARHAAssociation for Experiential EducationQuick Start Grant Writing for Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Riding and Learning Programs (Bowman)First Strides: How to Create a Thriving EAP Program Without Losing your Money or Your Mind (Corcoran)Equinomics: The Secret to Making Money with Your Horse Business (Cordell)EAGALA Business Development GuideHorse Sense Business Sense: Practical Tools for Building a Successful Equine Assisted Program (Knapp, & Dammann)How to Start en EFP/EFL Program (NARHA)Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Business Planning Guide and Workbook (Scott)Planning your Business in the Horse as Healer/Teacher Professions (Strozzi)American Association of Grant ProfessionalsThe Foundation CenterGrant ProfessionalsAssociation of Fundraising ProfessionalsThe Grantsmanship CenterGrant Writing USAFederal Government GrantsFederal Grants WireFundsnet Services OnlineGrants AlertNational Grants Management AssociationGrant Advocate Resource CenterGiving USA Foundation & Giving Institute
9 Summary of Grant Writing: Funding Resources “The lives of all the people involved [can] be enriched by the experience (Schaff & Schaff, 1999, pg. 106)."Traditional funding sources include money received through direct mail fundraising, telephone-fundraising, major gift fundraising, planned giving fundraising, online/internet fundraising, special event fundraising, different foundation organizations, government agencies at either the national, state or local level, United Way, Lions, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, local community organizations (AFP, 2009; Smith, 2010).Flying Change (2011) lists different funding opportunities on their webpage to encourage the awareness of diversification of funding sources and focuses including: (1)suicide prevention; (2) domestic violence; (3) responding to the aftermath of disasters; (4) responding to the aftermath of crisis; (5) youth and social services (6) health; (7) schools; and (8) communities.The searching for funding resources should not be limited to a narrow focus of only equine related organizations, local community partners or organizations, or only grant opportunities. The balance of funding sources from a variety of organizations is important.Defining the different grant funding sources allows nonprofit EFL and EFP organizations to then determine the most successful funding matches to submit proposals to, including: Action Grant, Categorical Grants, Challenge Grant, Declining Grant, Demonstration Grant, Formula or Block Grants, General-Purpose Grant, Operating Support Grant, Planning Grant, Research Grant, Technical-Assistance Grant, etc.When meeting with a funder describing your organization and its proposed program, ensure to demonstrate the credibility your organization, the need for the proposed project, community interest, your ability to measure success, costs and revenue sources, and why this funder's interests may be met by investing in the project (Carlson & O'Neal-McElrath, 2008).
10 Summary of Grant Writing: Writing Skills Writing that includes originality, problem solving, timelines, compelling need, and outreach; is needed to convey stewardship in any proposal (Blum, 1996).The purpose of writing within grant writing is to enlighten, educate, persuade and entertain (Smith, 2010).Resources include: A Writer's Reference (Hacker, 2010), How to Write: Advice and Reflections (Rhodes, 1995), Writing to Change the World (Pipher, 2006), Writing for a Good Cause: The Complete guide to Crafting Proposals and other Persuasive Pieces for Nonprofits (Barbato & Furlich, 2000), The Elements of Style (Strunk & White, 2008).Cowboy Code: Talk Less Say MorePorter (2007) summarizes the differences between academic writing and grant writing, and emphasizes essential skills of grant writers to be competitive. Porter states that grant writers use more direct, concise, and energetic writing styles to ensure the text is can be understood by a diverse group of readers. That grant writers need to focus on sponsors goals, be future oriented, project centered as a good proposal is an elegant sales pitch. Grant writers outline the value of feedback at every phase of proposal writing, that a proposal is a team effort. Subsequently writers with little academic writing experience may still improve their writing in different ways (2007).
11 Summary of Grant Writing Skills: Proposal Development Cover LetterProposal Narrative (Smith, 2010)Proposal abstractHistory of the organization and mission statementNeeds assessment and problem statementGoals of the organizationObjectives of the proposalPlan of activities (who, what, where, why, when and how)Past year’s accomplishmentsQualifications of key staffAccountability and evaluation plan of agency programs and progressSustainability planbudgetCover Letter (1) how much money the organization is seeking, (2) a variation of the proposal abstract, (3) how the proposal meets the funders initiatives, and (4) accomplishments.Addenda Material (1) financial statements, (2) budget of the past year, (3) proof of tax exempt status, (4) articles of incorporation, (5) by-laws and latest annual report, (6) staff qualifications, (7) resumes, (8) organizational chart and job descriptions, (9) board of directors, and (10) letters of support and recommendationsAll of the identified components are not always required for different funders. After composing a proposal items may not need to be reduplicated for other grant applications (Bowman, 2009). Adjusting grant proposals for renewal, rejection, and subsequently resubmission require a plan. Effective revisions require a clear understanding of critical weaknesses within the grant proposal. A proposal may require improvement in the proposal summary or abstract, budget, demonstrating a clearer need, or evaluation process to illustrate continued progress, or an increase in collaboration (Ogden & Goldberg, 2002).The development of grant proposals can further benefit the organization beyond the funds awarded. Organizations devoted to program planning and grant writing can benefit from; improved record-keeping skills, enhanced credibility, clarity of goals, the development of tangible objectives, increased knowledge in the program area, better program evaluations, and better financial management (Grantsmanship Center, ).
12 Summary of Grant Writing Skills: Managing the Grant Process Grant Management Activities (Smith, 2010):Facilitation and/or supervision of a grant project team,Proposal research,Identification of funding and bid sources,Grant and proposal writing,Agency capability statement, andProgram management and financial management.
13 Summary of Grant Writing Skills: Grant Management Checklist obtain guidelines;complete institutional forms;contact representative at funding agency;type and proofread final document;obtain administrative signatures;select primary authors of proposal;proofread proposal;prepare abstract or prospectus and submit letter of intent;duplicate proposal;submit proposal;contact departments and organizations for support or collaboration;follow-up grant review process;monitoring of grant implementation plan;obtain initial administrative approval;complete literature review;supervision reviews;determine study design;financial management reports;prepare first draft of proposal;implementation of evaluation;prepare abstract of proposal;evaluation reports;initiate internal review;program reports to funding sources;prepare budget;grant close-out; andrevise proposal based on feedback;audit and financial reporting (Smith, 2010).solicit letters of support;obtain written assurances from support sources;
14 Thesis Title: An Examination of Developing Grant Proposals for Nonprofit Equine Facilitated Learning and Psychotherapy ProgramsThe purpose of the qualitative study was to extend the research on EAMH nonprofit organizations commonalities in successful and unsuccessful elements within grant development.Survey ResearchDesign a QuestionnaireAssessed representatives of NARHA and EAGALA nonprofit organizationsGrant Writing Projects with Horse TimeGrant Inventory SummaryGrant Proposal
15 Survey Research Questionnaire 25 questionsQuestions are separated based on content starting with:Demographic Information (q. 1-5),Financial Information (q. 6-13) ,Grant Writing Experience and Resources (q ), andSuccessful and Unsuccessful Grant Elements (q )(q. 1-5)The initial questions primarily asked background and demographic questions of the nonprofit organizations participants. The initial questions were designed to be the simplest to answer and latter questions progressively harder to answer. The content of the questions were chosen to allow for generalizing to similar nonprofit organizations offering EFL or EFP services. The benefit of these first five questions was to determine the types of organizations surveyed, operational history, employee base, services offered and clientele.(q. 6-13)The next questions six through thirteen primarily focus on financial information. Most of the questions were formatted as an fixed alternative multiple choice question, thus allowing the results to be generalized. The benefit of this information from organizations is to understand the financial state of organizations, their reliance on grant funding, and grant funding historically from a one year and past five years perspective. The organizations level of dependency on funding sources will be specifically considered for question seven when participants rank the primary sources of income. The commonalities and relationships of questions nine through twelve will be examined, as the number of grants applied for and received and the corresponding grant funds received are reported.(q )Survey questions fourteen through twenty asked participants to identify grant writing experience and resources utilized. Questions in this section were typically presented as a multiple choice, multiple answer, encouraging participants to share their knowledge of resources utilized in grant writing. The benefit of assessing staff experience and strategies in grant proposal writing may isolate successful trends. Understanding the most commonly used resources from both traditional grant sources, and specific EFL and EFP grant resources may illustrate trends in the field.(q )The last portion of the survey asked participants to rate successful grant elements and unsuccessful grant elements, on a scale of one to seven. The linear scale used in this question portion of the survey allows participants to rank elements as: 1 - Extremely Unimportant, 2 - Quite Unimportant, 3 - Slightly Unimportant, 4 – Neither, 5 - Slightly Important, 6 - Quite Important, and 7 - Extremely Important (Mitchell & Jolley, 2001). Questions 21 and 23 were composed using the elements of success and rejection as reported by: Bourne, & Chalupa, 2006; Gerding, 2008; Gerding, & Mackellar, 2006; Himes, n/d; McCume, 2007; Smaglik, 2004; Porter, 2007; Porter, 2005; and Whatley, Participants were asked three open ended questions to share any additional factors they have experienced in grant writing that may be successful, unsuccessful, or advice in grant writing to fellow organizations using grants.
16 Survey Results188 (82 NARHA, 106 EAGALA) potential participants were contacted for the research survey, 51 (19 NARHA, 32 EAGALA) participants agreed to participate, 24 (8 NARHA, 16 EAGALA) participants declined participation.Eight Participants returned survey, all female representatives of five NARHA nonprofit organizations, and three EAGALA nonprofit organizations.
17 Survey Results - Demographic Information All participants represented nonprofit organizationsOn average organizations registered with NARHA and EAGALA have been in operation for five or more yearsThe majority of EFMH nonprofit organizations rely on less than five paid employeesThe EAGALA participants commonly ranked EFP services first followed by EAL services, the NARHA participants commonly ranked therapeutic riding services firstThe majority of participants, NARHA and EAGALA representatives, reported offering services to children, adolescents, and adult groupsQ. 1 All organizations reported being NonprofitsQ. 2 On average organizations registered with NARHA and EAGALA have been in operation for five or more years, six participants reported their organization being in operation for more than 10 years, while only one reported 4-5 years of operation.Q. 3 The majority of EFMH nonprofit organizations rely on less than 5 paid employees; Five participants reported their organization employing 0-5 paid staff members, while the remaining two other participants reported over 5 employees employed.Q. 4 (Overhead Projector) All of the EAGALA participants ranked EFP most commonly first followed by EAL services, most of the NARHA participant members ranked therapeutic riding services first.Q. 5 The majority of participants, NARHA and EAGALA representatives, reported offering services to children, adolescents, and adult groups.
18 Survey Results – Financial Information Participants most commonly reported their budget being $100,000-$200,000NARHA participant members typically ranked grants as the primary source of income. EAGALA participants revealed no trends in the ranked sources of incomeThe majority of NARHA and EAGALA participants reported grant funds increased with a subsequent increase in grant applications when the past year and previous five years where compared.75% of participants responding as receiving both foundation and community grantsQ. 6 What is the current budget of your organization?Participants most commonly reported their budget being $100,000-$200,000. Respectively, two participants reported a budget of $0-$50,000, four participants reported a budget of $100,000-$200,000, and two participants reported a budget of $200,000-$500,000.Q. 7 Please rank your organizations primary income source (a) dues, fees & services, (b) grants, (c ) donations and (b) contracts?All but one, of the NARHA participant members ranking grants as the primary source of income. The EAGALA participants ranking of sources of income revealed no trends in the sources of income.Q. 8 What percentage of the organizations budget is based on funds received from grants?Answers were very diverse. Respectively, three participants (1, 5, & 6) reported 1-10% of their budgets were based on grant funds. One participant (7) reported 20-30% of their budgets were based on grant funds, and four participants (2, 3, 4, & 8) reported 30% of their budgets based on grant funds.Q. 9 – 11 How many grants has your organization applied your yearly and the past five years?Q. 10 – 12 What are the total funds your organization has received through awarded grants in the past year and past five years?As the number of grants applied for in the given year or past five years increases, the amount of funding received will comparable increase; the majority of NARHA and EAGALA participants reported grant funds increased with a subsequent increase in grant applications when the past year and previous five years where compared.Q. 13 What are the most common types of grants you are currently applying for or have received?75% of participants responding as receiving both foundation and community grants
19 Survey Results - Grant Writing Experience and Resources No commonalities were found in relation to budget and years experience in grant writingParticipants where split between individuals versus teams composing grant projects.50% of participants reported using only one of the grant systems (funding development plan and grant inventory), 25% reported using none of the systems, while 25% reported using two or more of the systems.The majority of organizations employees will be accessing less than two sources, both traditionally and EAAT oriented, when searching for grantsThe majority of organizations employees will be accessing less than two resources, both traditionally and EAAT oriented, to improve their grant writing knowledge and experienceQ. 14 What are the combined years experience of yourself or employees who contribute to writing grants or supporting grant development?The greater the years experience of the grant writer(s) in the organization the increased access to multiple and diverse resources were not proven by the results. The majority of large budget EFMH nonprofit organizations have employees with more years of experience and training in grant writing was not proven by the results, no commonalities were found in relation to budget and years experience in grant writing.Q. 15 How do you utilize staff to support the research, writing, and management of grant applications?Participants where split between individuals versus teams composing grant projects. Respectfully, three participants (3, 6, & 7) answered that individual staff members composed grants, three participants (1, 2, & 4) answered that teams composed grants, one participant (8) answered as using individuals and teams to compose grants, while another participant (5) answered having teams and consulting to outside professionals to compose grants.Q. 16 What tools have you or employees used to improve the organizations grant writing (1) a funding development plan, (2) a grant inventory, (3) a grant management process, (4) none of the above?50% of participants reported using only one of the systems (split between funding development plan and grant inventory), 25% reported using none of the systems, while 25% reported using two or more of the systems.Q. 17 & 19 What grant writing organizations or EAAT Specific organizations have you or your employees accessed to improve your knowledge of grant writing?The majority of organizations employees will be accessing less than two resources, both traditionally and EAAT oriented, to improve their grant writing knowledge and experience; accessing only NARHA and EAGALA to support their grant writing.Q. 18 & 20 What sources do you use when searching for grants? What sources specific to EAAT do you use when searching for grants specific to the field?The majority of organizations employees will be accessing less than two sources, both traditionally and EAAT oriented, when searching for grants, were both proven by the survey results; the most common source being the foundation center directory.
20 Successful Elements in Grant Writing Gerding, (2008), Eight elements of SuccessGerding & Mackellar, (2006), Ten Points to RememberHimes, (n/d), Four Proven Keys to SuccessBourne & Chalupa, (2006), Ten Rules in Successful Grant WritingSmaglik, (2004), Five Factors Grant Reviewers Choose as Successful in Grant ApplicationsPorter, (2007), Five Strategies to Improve Academics Grant Writing SkillsMcCume, (2007), Ten Elements of SuccessPorter, (2005), Six Grant Reviewers Expectations & Seven Characteristics of a Good ProposalWhatley, (2000), Ten Ways to Improve Proposals
21 Unsuccessful Elements in Grant Writing Porter (2005) reports common grant writing mistakes as reported by grant reviewers. Grant reviewers critiqued: (1) writing that is vague and unfocused; (2) lack of proofreading; (3) incomplete response to the program announcement; (4) the project is too ambitious; (5) the research plan is vague; (6) the principal investigator lacks proven competence to do the research.Carlson, & O’Neal-McElrath (2008) discuss common difficulties in writing grants including: budget issues, ensuring proper requirements of a grant proposal are fulfilled to avoid rejection, and having a well written research proposal.
22 Survey Results - Successful and Unsuccessful Grant Elements Questions 21 & 23 Participants Ranked Successful and Unsuccessful Commonalities in Grant Writing on a Linear Scale of 1-7, 1 – Extremely Unimportant, and 7 – Extremely ImportantThe inter item correlation lacked statistical significance due to the low sample size.The Frequency Distribution for Questions 21 and 23 indicated that participants rated 68.4% of the elements as Quite Important (6) to Extremely Important(7)
23 Survey Results - Successful and Unsuccessful Grant Elements Successful CommonalitiesUnsuccessful CommonalitiesGrant work should always begin with planningInclude the appropriate background and preliminary dataCreate an evaluation strategy and build the method into the project from the startClearly defining the needs of the organizationDetailed budgets that match the proposed program or projectNot being clear and concise with the proposal ideaThe grant proposal not matching the grant funders conceptNot beginning grant work with a planFailure to use an evaluation strategyExpenditure and/or cost estimating that is not thoroughly detailedComparison of the Top Rive Successful & Unsuccessful CommonalitiesThe relationship between the top five successful and unsuccessful commonalities are that three of the elements are listed twice: planning, evaluation strategies, and budgets.
24 Survey Results - Self Reported Answers Self Reported Answers for Questions 22, 24, and 25:Q. 22"reporting back to show accountability and desired results were met”,"be sure your project falls within the realm of the grantors guidelines”,“make sure the request falls within the giving guidelines of the grant maker"Q. 24"how many grants are submitted, they may like the project but it could be the wrong time to submit"Q. 25"collaboration with individuals that have been successful and or familiar with the grant offering group""grantors like to see background facts"Q. 22 Please write any other factors you have experienced as being successful in supporting a grant application?Q. 24 Please write any other factors that you have experienced resulting in a grant application being rejected?Q. 25 What suggestions or advice would you give to organizations or individuals trying to include grant writing in their EAAT programs?
25 Grant Writing Projects with Horse Time Grant Inventory SummaryThree projects, grants identified for eachThe first project is a brick and mortar initiative, as the organization needs a multi-use buildingThe second project is a program initiative, to provide a social skills group for boys at the Sharp Learning Center, an alternative school located in Covington, GeorgiaThe last project as being a staffing initiative, to provide funds for a Volunteer Coordinator/Recruiter at Horse TimeCommonalities in Grant Inventory Development ProcessFinding grants for operating expenses such as the staffing initiative was the most difficult portion of the processthe government database was extremely difficult to navigate and understand the qualifications necessary to apply and the application processGrant funders had different formats and applications required for their grant proposals, no trend in requirements was evident, providing minor direction in a successful grant submission.Horse Time, Inc. was founded in 1996, the organization is accredited by NARHA, and offers three programs equine-facilitated psychotherapy, therapeutic riding, and hippotherapy services (Horse Time, n/d). The organizations' mission is, "to facilitate horse and human interactions in a context of wellness for the purposes of healing and growth" (Horse Time, n/d). Horse Time is located at Falconwood Farm outside of Covington, Georgia in Newton County, owned by the Faulkner Family. The farm itself is 90 acres, with a large outdoor arena, two outdoor round pens, small grass arena, covered arena, five outdoor tie stalls, outdoor wash rack, a twenty stall barn, inside the stall barn is a group room (aka gym), and a renovated dairy barn serves as two offices, and a combined tack room for the Falconwood Farm and Horse Time.Financially Horse Time, Inc. operates on a budget of roughly $30,000, serving approximately 150 clients of all ages. Horse Time primary sources of income are from (1) grants and contracts, (2) dues, fees and services, and (3) donations. Of the organizations budget 30% is based on funds received from grants. Within the last year Horse Time received between $10-50,000 in grant awards, and the organization applies for 3-5 grants annually. Within the last five years Horse Time has received $20-$50,000 in grant awards, applying for 5-7 grants in that time. Of the grants received, Horse Time has applied to Foundation and Community grants primarily.
26 Grant Writing Projects with Horse Time Grant ApplicationRobert W. Woodruff Foundation (Preliminary Planning Construction Grant – Brick and Mortar Initiative)Commonalities in Grant Application DevelopmentThe funding focus area of human services, particularly for children and youth, was heavily emphasized in the grant proposal to ensure linking the funders initiatives to the projectThe majority of the information for the organizational history and program overview included in the grant was available on Horse Time's website or within the clinical training manualThe grant proposal aspects of writing including: relevant statistics, program information, quotes, concise and clear writing were most prevalent.The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation website states the giving interests and limitations of the awarded grants. Horse Time qualifies as a human service organization, a tax exempt public charity located in Georgia. The application guidelines of the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation request proposals in letter form including the following information: (1) a description of the organization, its purposes, programs, staffing, and governing board; (2) the organization's latest financial statements including the most recent audit report; (3) a description of the proposed project and full justification for its funding; (4) an itemized project budget, including other sources of support in hand or anticipated; and (5) evidence from the IRS of the organization's tax-exempt status and that the applying organization itself is not a private foundation. Proposals not accompanied by a current IRS determination letter will not be considered. Informal inquiries prior to submitting a proposal are welcomed by the Foundation. Proposals are reviewed twice yearly and are to be submitted prior to the first of February and first of September respectively. The Foundation may require additional information upon request, and final notification will be within 30 days of the trustees' meeting in April and November respectively.The researcher independently composed the letter, executive summary, the problem, prospective funders for the project, and the conclusion. Composing the grant proposal provided an in depth understanding of the difficulties in writing an engaging and successful grant proposal. In spite of defining successful commonalities and researching successful commonalities, the subjective nature of composing and reviewing a grant proposal is a considerable influence in the process.Sample Grants (HHRF, Horse Sense Business Sense, & grantwritersonline.com)
27 Thesis Limitations Limitations of Survey Research Low number of ParticipantsSurvey as a word document compared to an online surveyThe best individual within the organization to approach regarding grant writing survey research was unknownQuestionnaire designLimitations of Grant Writing ProjectsLack of an evaluation of the chosen grants appropriateness for each of the three projectsLack of an evaluation of successful and unsuccessful tendencies in the developed proposalSurvey ResearchParticipants either failing or refusing to respond to the questionnaire, even after gaining initial consent is an inherent limitation of the survey design.Participants requesting to receive the survey through , were required to highlight their answers, resave the document and forward it back, this may have resulted in a lower response rate.The participants contacted to complete the survey research were those identified as representatives on both the NARHA and EAGALA websites.The survey research questionnaire may have demanded knowledge of a representative of the organization that did not know the accurate answers to the questions.A limitation of the linear scale questions was that questions were not equal in the number of successful and unsuccessful commonalities. The researchers limited experience in creating survey research questions may have resulted in inferior quality of the research questions. Designing questions on a clear singular element may have been less confusing then multiple elements in a longer sentence. These limitations may have been related to the tendency for participants to rate the majority of questions between quite to extremely important on the linear scale. The grant funds awarded for the year and past five years were not equal in scale; consequentially difficulty in noticing clear trends of increased or decreased funding was experienced.Grant Writing ProjectsThe lack of evaluating the appropriateness of the chosen grants for each of the three projects is a limitation. The consulting with a grant professional to compare a grant inventory summary of an experienced grant writer to an inexperienced grant writer, and a discussion of the differences may have benefited the application of the grant project. The chosen grants appropriateness for the project was decided by the President, Dr. Faulkner as her preferred grant source. The lack of evaluation of the developed grant proposal is an inherent limitation to the project. The lack of evaluation of successful and unsuccessful tendencies in the writing or proposal, outside of the researchers perspective, resulted in an unclear assessment of the grants potential to successfully achieve awarded funds.
28 Thesis Recommendations The first recommendation is the movement in the field towards research specific to EAAT grant writingThe second recommendation specific to the application of grant writing skills by nonprofit organizations, is the increased devotion of staff to utilizing more knowledge and resources to grant writingFuture grant writing research should consider assessing grant funders beliefs of successful commonalities in grant writing specific to EAAT nonprofit organizationsThe first recommendation is the movement in the field towards research specific to EAAT grant writing. This recommendation is supported as the current articles of successful commonalities in grant writing are self reported elements of success by the authors (Bourne, & Chalupa, 2006; Gerding, 2008; Gerding, & Mackellar, 2006; Himes, n/d; McCume, 2007; Smaglik, 2004; Porter, 2007; Porter, 2005; and Whatley, 2000).The second recommendation specific to the application of grant writing skills by nonprofit organizations, is the increased devotion of staff to utilizing more knowledge and resources to grant writing. When an organization is deciding how to integrate grant writing into their funding, balancing projects and the grants supporting them will be more successful if organizations are using a funding development plan, a grant inventory summary, and a grant management process.The movement towards revenue diversification is key to success in nonprofit organizations. Improved utilization of grant writing is only one funding source for which organizations should rely.An action of all grant seekers can be to consistently follow up each grant application to determine areas of improvement for subsequent grant funding.Where will nonprofit organizations find funding beyond the grant? Here are some ways a program might be funded after a grant: (1) the organization itself might be able to assume future funding responsibilities; (2) the program has a fee-for-service potential; (3) third-party payers might be contracted to subsidize the services to clients; (4) a non grant fundraising program that is growing; and (5) a profitable service or activity that can be expanded to cover the costs of running the new program (Grantsmanship Center, ).
29 Thesis ConclusionThe non experimental design was utilized to determine what individuals are involved in EAAT nonprofit programs are thinking and doing in regards to successful commonalities in grant writing.The survey research demonstrated a lack of significant results regarding successful elements in grant writing. There were strong similarities in participants' ranking of successful and unsuccessful elements surrounding planning, budgets, and evaluation strategies in grant writing. A policy change in grant funders providing clear criteria for evaluation of grant applications is needed.
30 Grant Writing Conclusions in Nonprofit EAAT Programs A large factor in business success is the ability to maintain a consistent cash flow, nonprofit organizations offering EAAT programs benefit from traditional business knowledge of diversifying funding.Sources of funding need to reliably support an organization through consistent funds respectively to maintain income to strengthen an organization within the current economy.Nonprofit organizations seeking grant funding are attempting to make a lasting and profound impression on grant reviewers, in hopes of receiving grant funding.The success of EAAT nonprofit organizations receiving and utilizing grant funds for their businesses is dependent first on the decision and devotion to integrating grant writing policies and procedures as one of many sources of diversified funding within the nonprofit organization.